One of the more interesting aspects of living in another country, I think, is going to a cultural event that is not part of ones own culture or the culture of the host country. In each place I’ve lived, there have been people from other countries who are also transplants who have brought aspects of their own cultures with them. Such was the case with the Passover Seder I went to at the American Club in Taipei. I’m not Jewish, but a good friend that I taught with in Hsinchu is, and she asked if I wanted to go.
The American Club was merely the location of the event. One didn’t have to be an American to go, or a member of the American Club. There were Jewish folks from all over the world. If I hadn’t been living in Taiwan, I wouldn’t have had this experience–not because there haven’t been Seders that I could have gone to before this, but because it’s so easy to become routine in ones habits. Living overseas gets one out of the routine and, at least to me, opens up other possibilities for cultural exchange.
With Passover coming up, April 19-27, I was reminded of this experience. Here’s a Web site of the Chabad-Lubavitch where you can find Seders to attend all over the world, as well as, a variety of activities and info about Passover. The International Seder Finder lists 2,000 Seders. This link leads to descriptions of the cultural significance of each of the foods shown in the picture.